Highlights of the trip so far

I don’t have a lot of time these days as I’m circumnavigating the country on a bicycle, promoting my book “Falling Uphill” (a full-time job all by itself), filming my video documentary “If you could do anything, what would you do?”, taking photos of everything somewhat interesting, beginning notes for my next book, meditating every day to rewire my brain, posting everything onto my website, blog and those million other things that keep popping up on the web demanding attention, doing a small amount of advertising and design, and even more stuff that you wouldn’t believe.

  • Thanks to Kate M. If it weren’t for her peaceful presence and emotional support my book may never have been published. I can’t really thank her enough.
  • I can add landslide to the growing list of natural disasters I’ve witnessed: tornado, wildfires, earthquake, floods,
  • World-class bicycle ride down the Big Sur coast ride
  • Wildfires in Santa Barbara which came within about 5 blocks of the home I had just left.
  • Reuniting with all my old friends in San Francisco and being treated to lots of great food.
  • Getting poison oak while camping on the edge of a farm field. This is one of the most painful things I’ve experienced. It’s been 3 weeks, and I’m still getting outbreaks.
  • Completely reorganized all my gear to keep going including, selling my trailer, buying bigger panniers, getting a new phone with GPS and mapping, discovering that I can use alcohol in my stove, and separating 15 pounds of gear, spare parts, and research papers to mail to myself.
  • A little girl who says she if she could do anything, she’d, “grow chocolate on trees.”
  • Psychic whose first question was, “Are you traveling?” And telling me that my spirit wants to settle down soon, which made me nauseous.
  • The great grandaddy of ironies. Meeting a former inmate of Alcatraz, Darwin Cowen. An ordinary man who is an example of how a life full of disadvantages, a big dose of just feeling disadvantaged and some bad decisions can back a guy into a corner and begin a downward spiral. Darwin was considered incorrigible and irredeemable and was basically intended to be locked up in maximum security and forgotten. He now is the guest of honor at the bookstore on Alcatraz. And hundreds of tourists line up every day to shake his hand and say, “It’s such an honor to meet you.” Me included.
  • Thanks to Susan VanKuiken for giving me a home for two weeks
  • The strange coincidence of staying in my old house, wishing every day that I could have my old room back and just stay in my favorite city, and one morning realizing that tenant left in the middle of the night and stiffed my friend of the rent.

Lots more but gotta go… The day is getting late.


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